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What films should my children watch?

(59 Posts)
OutsSelf Thu 29-May-14 00:13:17

I have a 3.5 year old and we don't watch TV. I do like the idea of him watching films though, but it has to be sufficiently non sexist for me and non violent for DP to both agree to it.

So far we've got My Neighbour Totorro, and that is only passing the minimally sexist bar (pathetic mum, care taker older sister, dodgy old woman figure, etc). AND THAT'S IT!

What can he watch and look forward to? I've accepted that I will have to be patrolling discoursing the sexist stuff because I live in patriarchy but only to a certain extent. Like, fuck princessery and heroic princes, and fuck beauty-is-virtuous stuff.

What do you let your children watch? I'm asking here cos I assume you more or less have my values wrt to gender stereotyping...

We have a Cat in Paris as well and DD loves it. Oddly IMO. Studio Ghibli as well. Despicable Me as well.

OK, I want to put a pitch in for My Little Pony and Yo Gabba Gabba. <sigh> I know it's TV and evil and all. My Little Pony, however has great messages. Friendship is Magic, leaders are female, all the ponies work to help each other. Yo Gabba Gabba is very balanced. There is an annoying pink robed female character but also Toodee, cat-dragon and cool animal all-round. The team do babies and animals and healthy eating. What's not to like? Good music too.

gamescompendium Thu 19-Jun-14 18:09:38

I've seen an interpretation of Wall-E as a non-heteronormative romance which makes it much more interesting to watch.

IWillOnlyEatBeans Wed 18-Jun-14 10:41:54

My 4 yr old is really sensitive and a lot of films are unsuitable for him as they are too scary.

Our 'staples' are Cars, Cars 2, Planes, Wall-E and any of the Thomas The Tank Engine films.

I don't think there are many female characters in any of these, but there is no real peril either, so they are a winner in this house.

DS also likes Frozen, but we just end up fast forwarding between the songs!

gamescompendium Tue 17-Jun-14 23:08:43

OMG! I didn't realise my link would do that!

gamescompendium Tue 17-Jun-14 23:05:58

Studio Folimage looks promising, it's a French animation studio that does hand drawn animations that seem to include lots of female characters. We've got A Cat in Paris which has 3 main female characters and 3 main male characters so easily passes the Bechdal. But Mia and the Migoo, and Aunt Hilda! (not released in the UK yet) look good as well.

Michel Ocelot's film Kirikou and the Sorceress is suppose to be good as well, and although his other work doesn't seem to have lots of women it does look incredibly gorgeous.

My girls are refusing to watch anything but animations at the moment but there are lots of lovely book adaptions with lots of female characters.

OutsSelf Fri 13-Jun-14 15:58:23

We used to do the YouTube videos thing but stopped because he learned to operate it and used it in a really unhealthy way - watch a bit of this, skip, watch something else for a minute, change again... it was like he was going into overload and his behaviour afterward was appalling. Our current compromise is that one day a month he can watch videos. I think as he gets older we'll work proactively on self regulation.

The thing with Nemo is not just the sad start but basically that they are in this terrible situation for.the whole film. He just couldn't bear the ongoing risk and unhappiness. Gorgeous and annoying.

Might look out Curious George next....

ReallyFuckingFedUp Thu 12-Jun-14 22:15:37

you can also make him a youtube list. I have one for my dd who is also 3.

I search for TV shows that seems safe, and then filter the results to 20 mins plus so as to only get full episodes.

The shows below are from PBS, so educational. I Daniel Tiger teaches children about feelings and emotions. Peg and cat is about Math.

peg + cat

daniel tiger

sid the science kid

WisemansBridge Thu 12-Jun-14 21:42:48

Oh bless him, we have sensitive dc too - we skip the beginning of Nemo, fast forward the stampede in the Lion King..

Someone up thread mentioned Curious George and I'd second that. It's a really lovely film, one of my favourite children's films and there's no danger/death so I'm sure your ds would be okay. Not many females in it unfortunately but there is one who's a teacher and comes across as strong and intelligent and is the voice of reason.

OutsSelf Thu 12-Jun-14 09:49:25

Oh, don't worry, I'm just storing it for the future.

Why oh why is there no Sarah and Duck, the movie? I don't want the TV on at all and we have tried watching just videos or copies of okay TV shows but he really struggles to regulate himself - he'd just watch it endlessly all day, but flipping between episodes on a shorter and shorter loop. It seems so unhealthy? Or am I a dinosaur?

ReallyFuckingFedUp Thu 12-Jun-14 08:07:05

I weep openly through the first ten minutes of Up, but luckily that goes completely over Children's heads. (Infertility and then the wife dies)

ReallyFuckingFedUp Thu 12-Jun-14 08:05:45

blush I'm so sorry.

The shark dead mother bit is really only the first 10 minutes you could easily fast forward through that and be out the other side.

I didn't even think to warn you, sorry. although it is Disney and dead mothers are kind of their "thing"

OutsSelf Thu 12-Jun-14 00:23:44

Right, we.tried Finding Nemo, he wept from the start and we ended up.skipping to the end for the reunification, and putting Totoro on. I'm reminded of.myself weeping through Lassie as a kid. It seemed quite cathartic though, he gave up all attempts to injure the baby/ start a fight with a parent for.the rest of the day

Maybe he is just too young, I don't even know why I've become mildly obsessed by the need to "solve" this problem. No screen is fine, right? Mad how difficult it is, and interesting to watch stuff through the eyes of an innocent...

gamescompendium Tue 10-Jun-14 21:19:29

101 Dalmations is pretty good from a 'several female human characters' viewpoint but the dogs are mainly male. We watched 'Hoodwinked' at the weekend and it is pretty fab, there's a good story arc about Red and her Grandmother.

I think Bedknobs and Broomsticks is OK from a Bechdal Test viewpoint but there's some dodgy sexism or racism in there. I'm vague because I've not seen it since I was a child, I suspect that comes from commonsensemedia which is excellent at telling you if there is anything dodgy in a film, although since it's American they are very uptight about nudity, the wonderful film Babies gets negative reviews because (shockingly!) it shows small babies being BF.

schoolrunfiend Tue 10-Jun-14 00:09:01

Apologies if I missed someone already saying this (it's late!!) But have you looked at the bechdel test website - rates films by following criteria: (1) it has to have at least two women in it, who (2) talk to each other, about (3) something besides a man.
Wryly amusing and then terrifying when you realise how few mainstream films actually manage all 3!

ReallyFuckingFedUp Thu 05-Jun-14 10:12:38

Then Nemo is pretty good. It's not sexist (the mother is dead in typical disney style though) the dads all do the school run that sort of thing. Unlikely to pass Bechdel but a nice movie.

OutsSelf Thu 05-Jun-14 10:06:32

Not-feminist is fine! It's not that I want the films to be feminist, I just don't want them to be sexist. It's actually quite a low bar that Hollywood is insistently tripping over....

ReallyFuckingFedUp Wed 04-Jun-14 14:37:27

Finding Nemo is quite good. It's not specifically feminist but it isn't unfeminsit, iyswim

TondelayoSchwarzkopf Wed 04-Jun-14 10:47:21

Yeah that's true. It seems that whenever there is a "strong female lead" - she must be surrounded by men as compensation eg Ripley, Lara Croft etc

BillnTedsMostFeministAdventure Wed 04-Jun-14 10:06:09

I like Monsters vs Aliens but I think it might fail the Bechdel test sad - wish one of the other monsters or one of the soldiers had been female.

TondelayoSchwarzkopf Wed 04-Jun-14 09:40:19

Monsters Vs Aliens is great - very strong (literally a giant) central female character and a reversal of 'getting married and living happily ever after' in the storyline plus enough monsters, aliens, chases and comedy for a little boy to enjoy.

BillnTedsMostFeministAdventure Wed 04-Jun-14 09:37:12

Will do! I've never seen it, might be nice to watch it together from the beginning...

pleaseaffixstamps Wed 04-Jun-14 09:33:34

Watch an ep or two and see what you think!

BillnTedsMostFeministAdventure Wed 04-Jun-14 09:31:51

No, he knows he's not allowed to watch Doctor Who until he's older wink so he might be interested in the DW-SJ link.

He seems ok with "cliffhangers" (is Lucy going to escape in Despicable Me 2 etc) so I think Mild Peril is ok.

pleaseaffixstamps Wed 04-Jun-14 09:13:46

I'd say so, depending what sort of level of Mild Peril he's OK with! My DS absolutely loved it at that age, certainly, but other kids (ie me at that age) might find some things scary. Try it out when he is asleep, and if you think it might be too much, just hang onto it for a little while longer.

(Has he ever watched Doctor Who? It's less scary than that.)

BillnTedsMostFeministAdventure Wed 04-Jun-14 09:08:39

Excellent idea about The Sarah Jane Adventures, ds1 is nearly 7, do you think that's about right?

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